Nearly a month and a half after a cyclist was killed on the Rickenbacker Causeway, Miami-Dade commissioners have taken the first step to make the roadway safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
On January 17th, 44-year-old Christophe LeCanne died on Bear Cut Bridge after being struck by a car reportedly driven by Carlos Bertonatti who police say was drunk and speeding. LeCanne left behind a wife and two children.
On Tuesday commissioners approved a resolution that would put mile markers on the causeway to make it easier for emergency crews to respond to accidents.
Miami and Miami-Dade Fire Rescue share sections of the Rickenbacker Causeway, but Bear Cut Bridge belongs to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue. On the morning of the accident, a Miami-Dade 911 operator dispatched help from a station ten miles away, rather than calling on much closer rescue units from Miami or Key Biscayne–as department policies seem to require.
The closest Miami-Dade Fire Station to the accident site, which was located on Key Biscayne, was shutdown at the time as a cost cutting measure for the county. During the hearing, Commissioner Carlos Jimenez said he thinks he may have found the funds to re-open the Key Biscayne station on a full time basis.
The commission also said they would look at whether they could use 25 cents from every toll collected on the causeway to go toward improving safety for walkers, runners and bicyclists.
The 29-year-old Bertonatti has a history of 42 previous traffic citations, including speeding for reckless driving, running stop signs, running red lights, and speeding. He was also charged last year with driving with a suspended license. Bertonatti was charged with DUI manslaughter and a number of other felony charges.